SB led her inside before shutting his front door. She'd finally been discharged after what he could only assume was a difficult first session with Dr Mullholland. The whole car ride had been silent aside from her answering the odd question he threw her way.
"I sorted out the guest room for you, I mean, it ain't much but at least it's somethin'." He folded his lips partially and looked over her small frame. "You want somethin' to eat?"
"Thanks but I think I'm just gonna go to sleep. I'm kinda tired." She unfolded her arms and forced a weak smile.
"Aight well, I'll show you up-"
"It's fine Safaree, I'm sure I'll find it." She set off up the stairs before stopping. "Thank you."
"Don't mention it." She had disappeared within seconds, leaving him seriously doubting the smile she was putting on. He had no idea of the kind of shit she'd been through these last few months but he had a strong feeling that the consequences were already making an appearance.
Upstairs in the guest room she found herself sat on the edge of the bed in a trance. She felt numb like if she was to see something heartbreaking happen before her very eyes right now then she wouldn't even blink an eye. It'd just crash over her like a wave and she'd be the rock unmoved by the force. Suddenly hearing Safaree's heavy footsteps ascending the stairs she waited, holding her breath to see if he was coming her way. The quiet knock on her door affirmed her suspicion.
"Nic? Can I come in?" Instead of answering she stood and walked to the door itself and opened it up for him.
"Yeah?" Their eyes met briefly before he entered.
"Look, I just wanna say that I'm really worried 'bout you. Y'know? You been through a lot these last few weeks and I'ont know what exactly but I'm here if you ever wanna talk you know that right?" By the time he had said his piece he was stood directly in front of her as she tried to block the tears from escaping.
"I know you are, thank you Safaree." As she looked up at him he tried to read her eyes but it was as if there was nothing there. No light, no hope and no strength. Just tired emptiness.
"Aight, well I'mma letchu get some sleep then. I'll talk to you tomorrow." He moved forward awkwardly and kissed her temple before leaving silently. Once again she was left with her grim thoughts and grieving heart. But what hurt the most was the consuming guilt she felt brewing within her. She prayed her actions wouldn't have any sort of repercussions and most of all she hoped he never found out. Her thoughts continued to swirl as she carefully undressed and changed into the sleep clothes SB had sweetly bought for her. She was still bleeding but Lara had reassured that this was normal, unpleasant as were the abdominal cramps but normal nonetheless. Knocking the light off she peeled back the covers and climbed in, allowing the coolness of the sheets to swallow her.
Stopping at her doorway abruptly the next morning he almost spilled the contents of the breakfast tray. His brow furrowed slightly when he heard her talking, she was on the phone.
"No, no next saturday is fine. Okay, I'll see you then. Thank you, bye."
Quickly fixing himself to look completely oblivious to her phone call he knocked gently on her half open door.
"Oh, SB I didn't know you were there. What're you doin'?" She flashed him a confused little smile as her eyes moved over the tray,
"I just thought I'd bring you up some breakfast. You didn't eat anythin' yesterday."
"Oh, thank you but I was just abouta head out." She grabbed her jacket from the bedpost as he just stared at her in bewilderment.
"Nic, you're s'posed to be restin'. I'm not allowed to letchu leave."
"I'll only be a half hour, it's fine." She tried to get past him but he stepped in her way.
"No, Nicki." Her face wrinkled up angrily, the mask was pretty see through though. Beneath the cold exterior she was crumbling, tired and hurting.
"But I need to go get-"
"Whatever it is, I can go pick it up for you. What do you need?" He set the tray down carefully on her nightstand as she just let her eyes follow him.
"You really don't mind?"
"Of course not."
"Aight, well I need pads." She tried to maintain eye contact but he looked away sheepishly as he rubbed his neck.
"As in notepads?"
"No Safaree. You know what pads I mean."
"Yeah." Her expression didn't change once.
"Fine, that's okay I got it." He smiled before backing out of the room. "Wait, what kind? Do they come in kinds?" His face contorted with confusion.
"Look, just let me go? I'ont want you to get the wrong ones." There was a long pause while he thought but his answer was still the same.
"Write it down for me and then I won't go wrong." She huffed purposely loud even though she should be grateful that he was doing all of this for her. After writing down the brand she wanted she gave him the paper and watched him leave. His sweetness was already making her feel even worse. She knew that the baby was his, their second child they'd conceived and the second they'd lost too. What she did that day kept running through her mind like a haunting movie with no end.
"I'm afraid we can't help you, now if you'd please hand me back the forms I have other people to see." Her face looked vaguely sympathetic but not very much. It was as if the nineteen year old sat before her wasn't any exception to what she usually saw in a working day.
"Please? I can find a way to pay I promise, I just-"
"Miss Maraj, I can't help you unless you have the money, today. I'm sorry." She leant forward and took the forms from her hands. "Feel free to return once you have the right amount." Nicki didn't respond but instead let her tears be seen as she stood up quickly, marching out of the clinic and back on to the cold busy street.
She lay tossing and turning that night, her mind in turmoil. The ever present question of whether going to bed was pointless, once again sailed into her thoughts. She hadn't slept in days but this burden was weighing heavy on her mind and conscience. She'd made her decision though. There was no way she could have this baby, not like this. Laying motionlessly for most of the night she suddenly found herself squinting as the sun started to rise. Quickly flinching her face away from the open window she turned to look at the side table and there lay the answer to her problem, she just wished it had never come to this. After nights of drinking more than she could handle none of the binges had any result and now, she was out of money and down to her last bottle. Her last option was brutality at it's best, something she knew she'd never forgive herself for but it was her last hope.
Taking another long slow drink from the bottle she set it down shakily, the misery she felt inside was showing on the outside as the tears ran from her eyes continuously. The sun was shining through the grimy window as she readied herself for what she was about to do. The nausea was creeping up on her but it wasn't the alcohol. How did it come to this? That was the one question that kept coming back to her, begging for an answer.
"Come on Nicki, you can do this." She shut her eyes tightly and shook her head, the room was spinning rapidly. She was slumped against the wall with only a bra on, her legs apart and ready for what she was about to do. Grasping at the clothes hanger in her hand she could feel it shaking as she sobbed. "Oh my God, what am I doing?!" She cried out loudly, no longer caring who heard her. Quickly grabbing the bunched up socks next to her she shoved them into her mouth to bite down on, she had no idea how this was going to pan out. One thing she did know was that there was a possibility she might not make it through this. But there was no way she was going to bring a baby into this world. This life. She had nothing to offer her. Bracing herself she slowly pushed the wire hanger inside herself, muffling her agonising screams with the sock bundle clenched tightly between her teeth. The rest was a blur.
She must have passed out soon afterwards, whether or not it was the pain or the cheap alcohol she'd binged on to numb the pain she had no idea. Sitting up off of the cold floor she shakily reached for her clothes, there wasn't as much blood as she had anticipated but that didn't take back what she'd done. Once again feeling the tears surfacing she washed herself gently under the cold spluttered shower head before dressing herself, the tears and pain never once letting up on her already exhausted body. It hurt to walk but just her luck, the elevator was broken. "Piece of shit." She slammed her palm on to the metal door before continuning delicately down the steps. Rummaging through her pockets she managed to get some change together to grab a bagel from the stand. She was about to tuck in when a sudden feeling came over her. The pain was intense, in fact it was so painful she felt the ground getting closer to her face as she fell down. Instantly blacking out.
"What've we got here?" The doctor's voice was soft yet the concern showed through. Nicki could hear everything that was going on around her but her eyes simply wouldn't open. Her body felt hot, almost like it was on fire but no amount of trying led to her body moving. She felt paralysed in a dark prison.
"An onlooker says she passed out on the sidewalk, she's around three or four months pregnant but by the looks of it she's tried to terminate the pregnancy herself."
" A home-abortion?" The change in his tone was obvious to Nicki as she lay helplessly, forced to hear every word. "Which technique?"
"We think she used a coat hanger."
"Did she cause much damage to herself?" She could feel his hands on her and guessed he was examining her.
"Remarkably she's only sustained minor injuries, that we can see so far anyway."
"She's lucky, that's for sure. Very, very lucky." He paused. "Was the attempted termination successful?"
"No." The woman's voice trailed off and as she spoke up again Nicki felt a a warm hand wrap around hers supportively. "I don't think she made it that far."
"This girl is just lucky she even survived trying to do something like that, what the hell was even going through her mind?" He shook his head. "Thank you Lara, I'll let you get her cleaned her up and I'll be back after my rounds to take a proper look at her."
The young woman still had hold of Nicki's hand as she watched the Doctor walk away. She didn't know for sure what on earth had forced her to do something so foolishly dangerous, but she did know how it felt to be pregnant, alone and vulnerable.
"Nic? Nicki, wake up." His whispered words pulled her out of the hideous recollection as she blinked her eyes open quickly. She'd fallen asleep on his couch waiting for him to get back. "I got what you asked for. Here." He handed the plastic bag to her and stood up straight again. "I'm abouta go make some food, whattya feel like eatin'?"
"Oh, I'm not hungry, thanks." Her tired smile and washed out complexion was beginning to worry him. Moving back over to her he sat down on the couch.
"Come on Nicki you gotta eat somethin', you had a rough couple days and-"
"Look, I said I wasn't hungry Safaree! Just leave it!" She stood up and clutched the bag to herself. "I'm gonna go take a shower. Thanks for gettin' these." She looked down as she brushed past him and headed up the stairs.
He sat down defeatedly and pulled his cap off as he rubbed his scalp, exhaling loudly. He felt like she was just becoming more and more introverted than before, he had no idea what was running through her mind half the time or what her smile was really hiding. Obviously it was something dark and scarring but keeping it locked away inside was really not good for her. Finally plucking up the courage he threw his cap back on and went up to her room, pausing before he knocked. He could hear her crying. The pain-filled sobs threw him at first but instead of walking away from her like her did four years ago he did the opposite. Turning the handle quietly she didn't hear him enter and was startled when she felt him moving closer behind her on the bed. He never spoke, his actions spoke a thousand words as he pulled her trembling body into his embrace. For once she didn't fight back, she didn't pull away but let him continue to hold her as she cried into his shirt. Why couldn't he see the comfort she'd been seeking, all this time the only thing she wanted was for someone to just hold her and tell her everything was going to be alright. Which is exactly what he did as they lay together on her bed.
*I know it's a lil' short but the weather in Australia right now is killing me! Especially 'cause I'm not made for this heat and we don't have aircon lol anyway thanks so much for reading, I've almost given up on this fics a few times tbh but you guys are super supportive, so thanku! Oh and I know some of you are gonna be confused because in the flashback the nurse said the termination was unsuccessful but you'll find out more next chapter :3 *